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Monday, August 17, 2015
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announces an additional $615,000 in funding for Flight of Five restoration. Behind Hochul from left are NTCC President and CEO John Percy, Lockport Alderman Pat Schrader, Alderwoman Anita Mullane and Mayor Anne McCaffrey. (PHOTOS BY SCOTT LEFFLER / ENP STAFF)

By +Scott Leffler

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Lockport this afternoon to officially announce that the State of New York is adding $615,493 in funding towards the completion of the re-creation of the famous Flight of Five locks.

Tourists passing through Lock 34 take photos of Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul,
left, talking with Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey.
The restoration is the centerpiece of a comprehensive economic development and downtown revitalization strategy called the Locks District Redevelopment Plan, which is expected to annually draw 230,000 visitors and generate $17 million in spending for the City. The award will allow the city to complete the restoration of lock 68 and make it fully operational.

“Having supported the restoration of the Flight of Five since my time in Congress, I understand full well the significance of continued state investment in this project,” Lt. Gov. Hochul said. “The Lockport Heritage Locks District remains the most significant historic site from the 1862-era Erie Canal that is still in operating condition."

Mayor Anne McCaffrey said "the Flight of Five historic locks restoration is becoming a unique regional asset that will continue to bring more tourists to Western New York."

She added that the work that was completed last year has already had a positive economic impact on the city, resulting in additional tourist dollars being spent in Lockport.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul poses with her Flight of Five shirt. She was named
an honorary lock tender by David Kinyon, chairman of the Lockport Locks
Heritage District.
David Kinyon, chairman of the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation, said “once completed, the restored Erie Canal Flight of Five will join the other marvelous WNY heritage assets, such as the Darwin Martin House, Roycroft Campus, Richardson Towers, and Olde Fort Niagara, which make Western New York a tremendous destination for heritage tourists.”

The total cost of the locks restoration project (locks 67-71) is approximately $10 million. Phase I was completed in summer 2014, for approximately $2.6 million and completed the restoration of locks 69 and 70.

In the fourth round of the CFA, the WNY Regional Economic Development Council recommended Phase 2 of the Locks Restoration project as a priority project and awarded $700,000. An increased CFA award of $615,493 from ESD will allow the City to complete the restoration of lock 68 and the miter gate between locks 68 and 69 to make lock 68 fully operational. Once this portion of the project is complete, three of the five historic locks that make up the Flight of Five would be restored. Increased funding will also allow for the installation of an arched bridge and completion of an interpretative gateway exhibit that will denote the importance of the Locks District and draw the attention of visitors to the Flight of Five.

Following the announcement at the Flight of Five, Hochul joined the WNY Regional Economic Development Council at their August meeting, held at Cornerstone CFCU Arena.

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